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Archive for the ‘New American Products’ Category

Jumper SurfboardsJumper Surfboards was founded in October of 2011 in Putnam Valley, NY. Forty-five miles north of New York city and Sixty miles north of the Atlantic Ocean.

New York has a very dedicated surf scene that can been seen riding the subways and marching through snow to ride some waves. The surf in New York is very dynamic, from small mushy waves to twelve foot tall barreling waves. Jumper Surfboards can work in both of these conditions as well as boards that can be custom tailored to work well in conditions all over the world.

Jumper surfboards is dedicated to building surfboards in New York and using only USA made materials. On top of the surfboards being 100% US made, all clothing and stickers are US made.

You can confidently buy a Jumper Surfboard and know exactly who and where it came from. Please feel free to check out www.jumpersurfboards.com, become a fan on facebook at facebook.com/jumpersurf, and send an email with any questions to stephen@jumpersurfboards.com

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My wife recently emailed me a link to this wallet company.  ALL-ETT is based in the San Diego area and fabricates and sells a wallet with the claim to fame of being “the world’s thinnest wallet”.  I have had a chance to review this wallet and am quite impressed with it.  It is indeed thin, despite being made of leather.  They achieve this thinness by making all the pockets and lining out of nylon material.  The wallet is also available in all-nylon.  They have different sizes and styles available.  Mine is the Inside ID style.  After having trialed it for a week, I am using it as my permanent wallet.  It is also  getting shown off to friends.  Aside from ALL-ETT, I can’t think of another wallet company that manufactures in the US.  There are certainly small craftsmen making wallets here.  I’m sure you can find some on Etsy.com  However,  here is a full-production wallet made right here, at a decent price.

American-made wallet

Made in USA Leather Wallet

Made in USA Wallet
If you are interested in the ALL-ETT, go to their website, http://all-ett.com.

Below is a Q&A with Adam Muscat, General Manager of ALL-ETT.  I like picking the brains of American manufacturers.  They are the ones making the decisions to fabricate here, abroad, or nowhere, so it’s vitally important for all of us to know how they think.

Q: Why did you decide to manufacture in the US?

A:We decided to bring our manufacturing back to the U.S.A. for a few reasons, the number one reason is the quality of our products. When we were
having things manufactured overseas it was more difficult for us to oversee
and manage the quality of our products, we now manufacture right here in San
Diego and are able to make smaller quantities and keep a closer eye on the
operation. The materials we source here are higher quality and the
workmanship is better. Another big reason is that we feel as business owners
that we have a responsibility to do our part in bringing the U.S. economy
back. The economy has been bad but if we are sending our jobs overseas and
complaining about the result it will never get us anywhere. Another great
thing about manufacturing here is that we are able to respond to our
customer’s needs much more efficiently than when doing things overseas. We
do make smaller margins on our products but we really feel that in the end
it is worth it.

Q: Do you manufacture in-house or by a third party?

A: We work closely with our sewers to be sure that our products are high
quality and consistent.

Q: How many people do you employ and is your business growing?
A: We employ about 12 people and our business has been growing at a rate of
about 25-30% for the last few years.

Q: Are you considering off-shoring?
A: We are not considering off-shoring. We love manufacturing in the U.S.A.

Q: If you had a wish list, what would be some things you would have government stop doing immediately to make your life easier?
A: My wish list for our government:

I would like for congress to actually get some work done. All you hear about
anymore is how each party blocks the other from doing anything and that
there is no compromising. I believe that an elected official’s job is to
compromise for the greater good of everybody but it seems like our elected
officials have forgotten that.

I would like to see tax holes corrected. I do not mind paying my share of
taxes, but when I hear about corporations making billions in profits, not
paying taxes and then getting subsidies while small business owners like
myself do our part it is extremely frustrating.

I would like to see people in government held accountable. We constantly
hear about scandals and shady deals but never hear about anybody getting
arrested. Even after the bubble burst not one person has been held
accountable and the people who were bailed out seem to be doing better than
ever.

Overall I would just like to see people in office who actually care about
taking care of the country rather than worrying about themselves or getting
reelected.

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Last year my wife (Janet Street) designed a new toy: Easy Keepers – a bendable, eco-friendly toy horse. Last February we went to the international toy fair in NYC to check out other toys and to see if we could meet a manufacturer. What we found opened our eyes to the state of the toy manufacturing in the United States. It is pretty much non-existent. Over 97% of toys sold in the U.S. are made in China and usually in sweat-shop conditions.

We did not want to follow that route, but everyone has told us that in order to make a profit, the only option is to find an non-American manufacturer. This just seems wrong. And so we began talking with local the Small Business Association, outlining a business plan that would enable us to set up a small facility where we could make these toys locally. But what seems amazing is how difficult it is to get the local business community to get on board with this.

Unable to find adequate funding, we have set up shop in our home and our making them ourselves. Progress is slow but we are starting to find customers who are starting to make pre-orders so that we can create a manufacturing facility without a loan.

There is a growing community out there that has had enough of seeing our manufacturing jobs slip away. This trend will continue until all of us start to support the small shops that are springing up in communities across the country. We should not look to big business or the government to create jobs here. We need to do it ourselves.

Thanks

Dennis Caraher
Norhampton, ma

easykeepers.com

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Nika Design is a fashion business of handmade dresses and other women’s fashion from Detroit. Veronica “Nika” Braslavsky, the designer and maker of the fashion line, has created clothing using felt and silk and a unique steam-based manufacturing process. Nika has an extensive background in art and design and previously had a business making custom doll-purses. She has achieved a new level of success with Nika Design and has attracted a growing following through fashion trade shows and conventions across the country.

I admire Nika in her tireless energy and willingness to make these clothes herself in USA rather than outsourcing to some Chinese factory and living on the narrow margin. This has advantages too. She controls the entire process from start to finish and maintains ownership of everything. She also can make smaller quantities of individual product as demand dictates. As her sales increase, the profits will be correspondingly larger as well.

For more information or to contact Nika, go to www.NikArtDesign.com

Nika Design Made in USA Dress

Nika Design Made in USA Jacket

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Revenge Is is a Los Angeles-based maker of t-shirts with an environmental and social political message. Not only are the t-shirts made in USA, but they are made from organic cotton, 50% recycled PETE plastic, or another environmentally-friendly material. Their inks are soy-based and made without PVC or other dangerous chemicals. The t-shirts are available for men and women and come with a variety of designs with activist slogans. The major themes of activism appear to be environmental and gay rights at this time, according to the website.

Although one may agree or disagree with particular messages from an activist organization, I find it refreshing that the owners of Revenge Is display integrity and internal consistency by having their products made in USA. Otherwise, it’s like waving an American flag on the 4th of July that’s made in China. How can you walk around with political slogans that describe your vision for the betterment of your country while simultaneously worsening the trade deficit and domestic unemployment. American political groups should take Revenge Is’ example and make sure that their merchandise and promotional products are made in USA.

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It is really quite refreshing to find another Angeleno who is not only patriotic but on the vanguard of an economic patriotism rarely seen around these parts.  Bron Heussenstamm, the founder of Alex Maine (meaning “defender of the homeland”) is serious and is doing the very thing that I’ve been growing hoarse ranting about.  Bron has dedicated his business to making high-quality, cutting-edge men’s clothing entirely in the US.  You don’t know how many times I’ve been in boutiques from LA to Los Vegas where prices may be double those on Alex Maine but where everything is nevertheless made in China.  Have you seen Diesel or even Prada goods sporting the made in China label?  So I’m quite proud of and impressed with Alex Maine.   They have a new flagship store on 8025 Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles, as well as allied retailers.  You can also buy Alex Maine goods at their web store, AlexMaine.us.

I am reviewing a pair of slender cut twill pants and a bamboo cotton v-neck shirt.  They look quite nice, and I would probably have picked these up had I recently been shopping on Sunset Blvd.  The construction is excellent and the feel of the material very smooth.  I highly recommend!

made in USA shirts and pants

Alex Maine T-Shirt and Men's Pants - both made in USA

At this time, a mere 3% of US clothing and textiles are made in USA.  Surely we can do better than buying over 97% of our clothing from overseas.  Factories will continue to outsource production overseas until consumers stop buying their imported crap.  So it’s time for the US consumer to put out or get out – don’t buy at Target – buy at places like Alex Maine!

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Tom Bihn Travel Bag - Aeronaut

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing the Tom Bihn Aeronaut Travel Bag.  This and many other such bags are made by Tom Bihn in Seattle, Washington.  What impressed me about this bag was 3 things:

  1. It is attractive and very well-designed.
  2. It is well-crafted in the USA
  3. The Tom Bihn company seems especially dedicated (more than your average American manufacturer) to both producing and sourcing their materials in the US.

The bags are not cheap but they are not cheaply made.  When you are carrying your most prized possessions, such as your laptop, your ipad or other fancy gadgets about town or on a plane, you want to use a bag that is ergonomic, comfortable, durable, and convenient.  The Aeronaut definitely has all of these qualities.  One really nifty thing about it is that you can carry it over your shoulder or as a backpack, and the straps are detachable.  Each compartment and pocket contains internal accessories, such as straps and key loops to hold all kinds of stuff securely.

Sure, you can buy some cheap Chinese bag that they sell at the corner gas station or at the Target for $25, but you know that it will be trash in less than 6 months of daily use or after a single rough handling.  Also, when you own a quality piece of American-made luggage, you will feel good about it, rather than owning another piece of junk that you do not value.  You will proudly show off your excellent made in USA case – something more unique than a Louis Voutton bag and definitely less expensive.

When you visit the Tom Bihn website, you will find that they seem to be a real fun to work for company.  The about us page even has little vignettes about each of the employees, from the CEO down to the ladies that sew the bags.  Much better than buying from some nameless “brand” that licenses it’s product to another nameless Chinese company.  Buy Tom Bihn and buy proudly!

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